05 de junio de 2012

May 17th Union Bay Natural Area, Seattle WA 3:30 PM

May 17th Union Bay Natural Area, Seattle WA 3:30 PM
Weather, Partial cloud, dry, 50’s
Found log with several types of white rot, turkey tails, asterium which has an orange reddish color to it, hypoxilan which is black and has a burnt look to the log. Parasila are more prevalent in shaded areas away from heat but also found in grassy wood chip area near boat house. Found some mycorrhizal mushrooms, these are formed by fungus that attaches its self to the roots of plants. These mushrooms often from a mutualistic relationship where the fungus helps the plant consume nutrients. Some mycorrhizal fungus will only be associated with a specific type of tree having evolved a special niche. Also discovered artist conchs, large white rot mushrooms growing on fallen tree, the spores on the bottom allow you to draw on them and as such are popular among some nature loving artists.
Species list:

Ganoderma applanatum
Leratiomyces ceres
Trametes versicolor
Gloeophyllum sepiarium
Leratiomyces ceres

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

May 10th University of Washington, Seattle WA 3:30 PM

May 10th University of Washington, Seattle WA 3:30 PM
Weather: Mostly sunny, dry, high 50’s- low 60’s
Went on Mushroom tour around campus. While we were successful in finding traces of mushrooms, most were dried and cracked by the heat and lack of rainfall in the past week, especially the agrocybe praecox. One highlight was a panther cap found in Denny yard. The panther cap is associated with the roots of Douglas fir and while it is hallucinogenic it is also very toxic. Small Inky caps and parasols were also found primarily in the grassy areas. Saint johns rust was seen on the leaves near art building, another type of fungus that however does not form mushrooms to spread its spores. On our walk we learned much about mushrooms, including their ability to communicate (to an extent) by releasing pheromones that other fungus can detect and react to.

Species list:
Macrolepiota procera
Amanita pantherina
Agrocybe praecox

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

May 9th Three Trees Point, Burien Washington

Tidal flats, rocky with patches of sand, hillside/bluff to east and south, held back by man made retaining walls which reduce sediment flow to beach.
Puget sound beaches are generally characterized as being more rocky. Steep hill sides carved by glaciers give way to relatively flat tidal zone. Rocks are diverse in color, size, and form. At lowest point sea grass becomes thick. Crab shells are clearly visible left behind in grass. In sandier areas geoduck heads can be seen protruding from the sand. Live Moon snails can be found but the condensed sandy remains of their nests are far more abundant. Two types of starfish were observed, a small orange one which we were told is native, and a much larger purple one which we were told came over from Asia on cargo ships and has become an invasive species in Puget sound. Lining the bulkheads at the top of the beach are barnacles and mussels attached to the rock out cropping’s and stairs.
Species List:
Euspira heros
Panopea generosa
Chthamalus stellatus
Metacarcinus magister

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 28th, University of Washington, Seattle WA

April 28th, University of Washington, Seattle WA
3:00 PM
Weather: Sunny, partial clouds, 50-56 f.
In a shaded woodchip area near the quad observed two robins and a squirrel digging in roughly the same spot under an unidentified tree. This suggests that both species have similar dietary patterns as they all seemed to take turns digging after one would be frightened away by a passerby. Knowing that squirrels are known to burry nuts for latter, hypothesis that the robins were attempting to liberate squirrels food.
Species list:
Turdus migratorius
Sciurus carolinensis

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 26th, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle WA

April 26th, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle WA
Received a tour of Burke museum including behind the scenes look at cataloging and recording all the birds in the collection. Learned about habits of various birds. Some birds are more territorial than others, some bird species will push others out to almost extinction. Some birds, such as the peacock, are attracted to long bright feathers, not because this offers an advantage, but rather because it creates a disadvantage which in turn implies the male must be very good at surviving. Birds that nest in groups will have more distinct egg patterns than birds that do not nest in groups so as to prevent egg mixing. However some bird species such as the cow bird will intentionally leave its eggs with others nests so as to have its young raised at no cost to it. The host bird will allow this for a variety of reasons, perhaps it can’t physically remove the egg, it may not want to risk throwing its own egg, or in some cases it may be afraid of retribution by the bird that left the egg.

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 9th, Burke Gilman Trail, University District, Seattle WA

April 9th, Burke Gilman Trail, University District, Seattle WA
Weather: Mild cloud coverage, sunny, 58f.
Observe male mallard on walking path some distance from anybody of water, duck appears to be covered in dirt, doesn’t move when approached, and is making a coughing wheezing sound. No other ducks in the vicinity. Assuming the duck has fallen ill. Surrounding vegetation is mostly salal and non-native hedges and shrubbery.
Species list:
Anas platyrhynchos

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 3rd, UW Green House, Seattle

April 3rd, UW Green House, Seattle
Time: 1:30
Weather: Controlled
Experienced the treasure that is the UW green house. Miracle berries are small red berries that cause your taste buds to only register sweet. After consumption of this berry lemons became very enjoyable. Saw ghost chili, has pointed leaves, shriveled red and green fruit, plant contains a chemical similar to dopamine that stimulates trig emend glad similar to touching a hot stove, tip of chili is not hot, prevents fungal growth. The Mons taro plant grows towards the dark rather than to light so that it can find trees, after which it then grows to light having attached its self to a host, this plant grows holes in its leaves which has the effect of discouraging butterflies from eating it. Dischidia is a vine that makes its leaves hallow to attract ants to live within it, the ants in return provide nutrients for the plant as well as protection. Welwitschia is a desert plant that can live to 2,000 years old, was believed that it would not like excessive water but by providing it with extra water the green house was able to rapidly increase growth rate, this indicates that it lives in the desert not due to an aversion to water, but rather because it gets pushed out of other environments. The peperomia has green bean shaped pods which let in light so it can do photo synthesis internally while minimizing water loss. Along with learning about all these individual plants we also learned that bogs are acidic and contain few nutrients, for this reason plants in bogs tend to be more carnivorous, such as the venous fly trap.

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 1st Nisqually Estuary

April 1st Nisqually Estuary. Sea Level
11:00 AM
Weather: Cloudy. Strong guests of wind from North.
Habitat: Grassy Marsh land. Further from Sound we find more treas, as we move towarss the sea it turns to grasses. Several creeks flowing towards tidal flats.
As we return to sea level we are once again confronted with an abundance of Himalayan Black Berries. Sword ferns are still present but less so then at pack forest. Great deal of birds in the area. Of note were owls and hawks which could be seen in the medium height branches. 2-3 Eagles were also observed circling the area and landing in trees to the south west. Several types of water fowl could be seen such as mallards which would eat by dipping their heads in the water and swimming in circles, as well as Canadian Geese which tended to be seen on the banks near the water in areas that also featured ducks. Finches and robins as well as other unidentified birds were also observed moving quickly between trees. Nearer to the edge were an abundance of young big leaf maples, cat tails, and the occasional painted turtle.
Species List:
Acer macrophyllum
Typha latifolia
Branta Canadensis
Bubo virginianus
Buteo jamaicensis
Chrysemys picta bellii
Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

March 31st Trail of Shadows, Longmire

March 31st Trail of Shadows, Longmire WA Elevation: 2700 feet.
Weather: Partial cloud, mostly sunny.
Habitat: Alpine meadow. Snow covers most of the ground, especially shaded areas. However large open meadow/ marsh features warm spring water carrying minerals that turn area a rust color. Mt. Rainier summit to the North, River to the south.
Meadow is surrounded older growth forest dominated by Yew’s, Cedars, and Pine trees. An Alaskan Cedar was observed indicating the difference in climate due to elevation. Most notable were the prevalence of various fungi and lichens unseen or un-noticed previously. For example tube lichens were more common. Nearly all fallen trees had mushroom growth on them. And lipstick Caledonia was observed for the first time.

Species List:

Taxus brevifolia
Cupressus nootkatensis

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


Date: June 4th, 2012
Location: -122.24731100000 47.50339700000 Lake Ridge Park, Seattle WA
Route: Entered from grass lot located on the western edge of park, 10600 block of 68th pl S. Went East down embankment into park. Elevation, 150-200 feet above sea level.
Weather: Mostly cloudy, high 50's F, no precipitation. No wind noticed at lower level, nor any signs of disturbance to upper canopy.

Habitats: To the WxSW there is a roughly 70-80 degree embankment running along the edge of park. Few trees grown on this embankment relative to the area east of embankment. Furthermore the trees that are present on the embankment have a significantly smaller diameter (6" to 1') than do trees only 20 meters from embankment (2'-3'). Embankment marks edge of park, to the west is flat homo sapiens dominated terrain. Going east from top of embankment elevation drops roughly 40 feet to lowest point then rises another 7-10 feet to internal highpoint characterized by large western red cedar. Although elevation of park is low enough to have been largely shaped by glacial till, boundaries are clearly defined by man made alterations. From internal high point ground slopes down toward the east. At lowest point is a creek which flows in a generally NE direction towards Lake Washington, which it's self flows into Puget Sound. Creek appears to act as drainage for water shed that includes surrounding hillsides. Creek roughly 3-5 feet in width flowing gradually at about an elevation of 100 feet. Area is moist but not overly saturated except in a few select areas located mostly at lower points near creek. Whole area of park appears to be canyon carved by creek, gentle slope of areas not clearly effected by man indicates water flow caused topography as opposed to the steep edges that would be found as the result of glacial erosion. Although some large rocks were seen suggesting the presence of glaciers at one time. Floor is covered by an abundance of pine needles, cones, unidentifiable twigs, as well as some alder and maple branches, average depth of surface material 1-3 cm. Soil dark brown, compact, not gravely at surface other than in areas where man made trails were added. Estimated prevalence of fallen trees, roughly 15-20 per acre, but generally younger trees. Instances of fallen trees acting as nurse logs less than would be expected. Believe this to be due to lack of competition for sunlight, canopy is not too thick as to require fallen trees to create areas of sun exposure. This being stated nurse logs were still encountered.
Vegetation: Embankment had few trees and seemed to be dominated by Hemlocks, being that Hemlocks are able to grow in shade this could be explained by the forest covering light from the east, and the embankment covering light from the west, other trees besides the hemlock may have trouble starting in this particular section due to lack of light. The side of the embankment was otherwise covered in sword ferns, and Dryopteris expansa ferns. After embankment on top of internal slope is a large western red cedar and several big leaf maples. Western red cedar had bees making a home in the folds of its bark. The surrounding big leaf maples had not only moss and licorice ferns, but also some patches of lichens growing on them. While the prevalence of lichens was still less than that observed at higher elevations, they were a pleasant surprise due to the surrounding human settlement and lichens vulnerability to pollution. These and alders and doug firs appear to be the most dominant trees. Single bushel of red huckleberry observed just outside of cedars covering growing from a decaying stump. Red elderberry and devils club appeared to be very common at this point. Embankment and area around large cedar also had patches of what appeared to be tall manna grass. As you look east the hill slopes down toward creek. Closer proximity to creek yields more red alders, this is to be expected as red alders are often a pioneering species that thrives in more open areas close to creeks. These red alders will likely temporarily push out conifer growth put ultimately improve the soil for future conifer growth, specifically by facilitating nitrogen fixing of the soil. Patches of Oregon Grape common but not as common as in other similar areas of Puget Sound. Closer to the creek and especially near the trail Salmon berries are very common and the fruit is fully ripe. Manny bushes are missing berries indicating birds or animals maybe consuming them. Patches of buttercups also observed in areas not covered by salmon berries. Two different types of buttercup observed, western and creeping. Patches of fowl blue grass observed. Sticky current also common. Evidence of fungus was not as prevalent as had been expected, found mushrooms on trees that had been sectioned by chainsaw but very rarely on untouched fallen trees. At edge of creek were what appears to be young Giant horse tail. In general the vegetation could be described as a large amount of shrubs with moderate to light tree coverage.

Common garden slugs were very common found covering trails and plants. One snail was observed as well. Due too surrounding human settlement it was unsurprising that crows were the only observed bird. A flock of 4-7 were congregating for a time in the canopy. Possibly heard a Ren but unsure due to noise from crows. Holes in ground were seen indicating presence of burrowing animals, possibly rodents, but none were visible. Due to small area of forest and abundance of human development surrounding it, larger animals such as dear, elk, or bears are unlikely. Animals that could already coexist with human development are probably more likely in the area such as racoons and possums.
Species List:
Tsuga heterophylla
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Thuja plicata
Alnus rubra
Acer macrophyllum
Dryopteris expansa
Evernia prunastri
Dicranum scoparium
Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans
Oplopanax horridus
Glyceria elata
Sambucus racemosa
Vaccinium parvifolium
Ranunculus occidentalis
Ranunculus repens
Berberis aquifolium
Rubus spectabilis
Polypodium glycyrrhiza
Equisetum telmateia
Piptoporus betulinus
scripus microcarpus
Ribes viscosissimum
Genus Arion
Genus Trifolium
Genus Taraxacum
Allogona townsendiana

Publicado el 05 de junio de 2012 por austinuw austinuw | 15 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario